February 6, 2023

Opening Keynote: Cultivating an agile workforce in a time of disruption

Editor’s Note

“Change should not be measured by the pain of change; rather, it should be measured by the consequences if I don’t” change, says Kelvin McCree, Chief Learning Officer of Laser Focus Leadership Solutions at the OR Business Management Conference opening keynote. McCree engaged the audience on one main idea, which is how to cultivate an agile healthcare workforce in a time of disruption.

“The industry is now different than what it was pre-COVID,” McCree noted, adding that significant changes, such as new public safety measures, vaccination campaigns, and staffing shortages, have altered the healthcare workforce. In order to remain profitable, an organization must “adapt or perish.”

Organizational agility is the ability to pivot in changing conditions. Institutions must create a framework in order to adapt. In 10-15 years, successful organizations will be the ones that were able to grow from change, McCree told the audience.

He  further explained a philosophy related to the Change Curve model, created by Dr Michael Clayton. This showed the emotional journey, on an individual or organizational level, when faced with change. Similar to the well-known stages of grief, the Change Curve starts with feelings of denial and eventually leads to acceptance. McCree noted that the upward direction of this model starts with exploring what is changing, why it’s changing, and how it will affect the organization or your own life. The journey of the change curve cultivates the idea that, eventually, change can be a good thing.

McCree left the audience with five key takeaways of how to cultivate an agile workforce:

  • create a cohesive philosophy to engage your team in a purpose beyond simply working for your organization
  • empower your team members to re-evaluate processes and practices that are outdated
  • include the feedback of those most impacted, make them stakeholders in the decision making
  • conduct “stay interviews” rather than exit interviews
  • consider revamping the hiring process by incorporating more technology.

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